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Full oft, where wealth-engender'd crime Roll'd o'er the lands its whelming tide, Their fervent faith and hope sublime
Have stable prov'd, though sorely tried: In virtue's heavenward path they trode, When Pleasure's sons forsook their God.
And yet nor stone, nor poet's strain,
Records their honours undefil'd;
Even poesy would weave in vain
The laurel wreath for penury's child: Should fashion sneer, or fortune frown, "Twould wither ere the sun went down.
But greater, happier far is he,
More ample his reward of praiseThough he should misery's kinsman be, Though hardships cloud his early days— Who triumphs in temptation's hour, Than he who wins the warlike tower.
What though he may not write his name On history's ever-living page!
What though the thrilling trump of fame Echo it not from age to age
'Tis blazon'd bright in realms on high,
Enroll'd in records of the sky.
What though the hireling bard be mute
When humble worth for notice calls?
There wants not voice of harp or lute
To hymn it high in heavenly halls :
Around the cell where virtue weeps,
His nightly watch the seraph keeps.
If peace of mind your thoughts employ,
Ye restless murmuring sons of earth!
Ah! shun the splendid haunts of joy;
Peace dwells not with unholy mirth:
But oft amidst a crowd of woes,
As in the desert blooms the rose.
Thick fly the hostile shafts of fate,
And wreck and ruin mark their course; But the pure spirit, firm, sedate,
Nor feels their flight, nor fears its force: So storms the ocean's surface sweep, While calm below the waters sleep.
O! may eternal peace be mine,
Though outward woes urge on their war;
And, Hope, do thou my path define,
And light it with thy radiant star.
Thou, Hope; who through the shades of sorrow
Couldst trace the dawn of joy's bright morrow.
(Supposed to have been written by Alexander Selkirk, during his solitary abode in the Island of Juan Fernandez.)
I AM monarch of all I survey;
My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach;
I must finish my journey alone;
Never hear the sweet music of speech-
I start at the sound of my own.
The beasts that roam over the plain
My form with indifference see;
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
Oh, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth;
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth,
Religion! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word!
More precious than silver and gold,
Or all that this earth can afford.
But the sound of the church-going bell
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Never sigh'd at the sound of a knell,
Or smil❜d when a sabbath appear'd.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial endearing report
Of a land, I shall visit no more.
My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me?
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see!
How fleet is the glance of the mind!
Compar'd with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-winged arrows of light.
When I think of my own native land,
In a moment I seem to be there;
But alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place,
And mercy, encouraging thought!
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
HAs the late year effac'd one single crime?
Or rather has it not the score increas'd,
And laid up store of grief for future years?
For future years! O fond presumptuous thought!
When not a day, when not a moment's ours:
On this point only, this important Now,
Strange, awful truth, eternity depends!
And yet this precious moment, man's sole treasure,
This only stroke for everlasting bliss,
Is giv'n to painted joys, to dust, to winds;
And Wisdom suing for her rightful claim,
Has the poor pittance of a courtier's pay,
An airy promise, and a faint resolve,
Both broke as soon as made; while folly shouts,
And claps her wings, at this her fairest triumph.
And shall this year, like that already fled, Be fool'd away in song and vanity? No: let me now, indeed, begin to live; Let me press forward in the glorious race That leads to life, that leads to joys eternal. Tho' earth and hell combine t' obstruct my passage, My God will arm me with his conqu❜ring power, And crown the conflict with an endless triumph. Turn then, my soul, from earth and all its wiles; Keep thine eye fix'd on thy celestial home : Contemplate the delights the blest enjoy, Delights full beaming from the throne of God, Without cessation, and without alloy,
Here must I pause-and leave to angels' tongues
The vast remainder.-Human thought, amaz'd,
Shrinks at the wide unfathomable deep;
Shrinks, but soon rises, and exulting views
The endless transports Heaven reserves for man.
Who would not, to secure these scenes of bliss,
Content endure whole ages of despair?
But Heaven requires not such an arduous task,
It mingles sweets with every bitter draught,
And strews the thorny path with fragrant flowers;
Short is the journey, and the end is peace.
THE POWER OF MUSIC.
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell:
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possess'd beyond the muse's painting,